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Hi all, 

So I wanted to ask opinions on back braces.  I'm a new EMT and I for whatever reason keep struggling with my posture when lifting.  I know I need to work and practice it and have done so but I'm still struggling ever so slightly.  I was considering trying out a back brace. Not long term, but just maybe to see if it keeps me in the right position until I get it on my own.  Does anyone have any advice or even personal experience with this?  Im open to anything that may be helpful.  I don't want to be the idiot who harms myself or good forbid my partner or paitent.  Thank you!

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The biggest trap people get into with those back braces is that they expect them to give them perfect posture and also expect them to keep the employee from injuring themselves.  

You must understand that those back braces are for guidance purposes only and they do not make up for Poor Posture/body mechanics/poor lifting technique.  

If you put your trust 100% into those (I think they are junk science based on several co-workers over the years being permanently injured while using them) you are going to get hurt.  

if you can make sure you only use the device to help guide your lifting/body mechanics then you should think about getting one but nothing makes up for strengthening your core abdominal muscles, back muscles and just plain strengthening, as well as nothing makes up for good lifting techniques.  what do I mean by that

 

1.  lift with your legs and not your back

2.  lift with your legs and not your back

3.  don't bend over when a squat would do

4.  NOTHING makes up for having enough help on scene to do the lifting.  If you don't have enough people for the bariatric patient - get more help.  If you don't have enough people to safely lift your car wreck patient and then move them safely to the cot, then get more help.  NOTHING 

 

I wish you the best in your career, My career was shortened due to chronic back pain from having only myself and my partner lifting the majority of patients when we were on calls since it was just me and my partner.  I can still do the job but I hurt badly after a shift anymore - so I lift a laptop now as an IT consultant for Emergency rooms and hospitals.  

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Maybe try doing some weight training. I think deadlifts might be the exercise that you want to do.

That motion is similar to lifting the cot.

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The four point box is a fantastic back exercise. I used to always tweak my back until I started doing these. Here is what it looks like:

 

http://jennfit.ca/blog/four-point-box-exercise/

 

Try to hold the pose for 15 seconds at a time, then switch sides.

Edited by Arctickat

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